Understanding WTO Disciplines on Agricultural Domestic Support

WTO Public Forum 2009 - Session 12

Date: 
September 29, 2009
Time: 
9:00 - 11:00
Location: 

Geneva, Switzerland

Organized by: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract

Formulating new rules for agricultural domestic support to reduce international market distortions remains one of the critical challenges facing the multilateral trade system. High food prices in 2008, although dampened by subsequent global developments, brought renewed attention to domestic support in a different way: how can agriculture be strengthened to meet future food demand and environmental goals?

The presenters and discussants will focus on four issues:

  • Has the WTO been successful in increasing policy transparency?
  • Have the WTO rules motivated countries to shift their policies in ways that lessen distorting economic impacts?
  • The ongoing negotiations could establish domestic support rules and commitments. Will the new rules translate into a more effective set of incentives to reduce distortions in production and trade?
  • Even if an agreement is reached, substantial issues will remain to be addressed in domestic support. Areas for potential further attention include: making notification requirements more binding; altering the rules to prevent changes in domestic price support measures from being claimed as reductions if they have no effect on market prices; and more directly addressing distortional policies that raise world agricultural prices to the detriment of food importers.

For more information visit:
http://www.wto.org/english/forums_e/public_forum09_e/hot_topics_e.htm

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